An Idaho man by the name of Keith Strawn was sentenced to a felony count of injury to a child on Tuesday after forcing his teenage daughter to marry her rapist.
Last August, Strawn took his daughter — who was only 14 at the time — to Missouri to marry then-24-year-old Aaron Seaton who allegedly raped and impregnated the girl two months prior, according to Mashable.
Strawn’s unnamed daughter ended up having a miscarriage and the marriage was annulled, but that doesn’t erase the trauma she has to live with that Strawn and Seaton are both responsible for.
Strawn reportedly expressed regret in court for encouraging the marriage between his daughter and her abuser, but it didn’t change the judge’s mind.
“I made the wrong decision," he said during his trial. “I love my daughter very much and I would never do anything to intentionally harm her.”
Strawn is set to serve at least 60 days of jail time on a suspended sentence of four years.
Seaton is also serving jail time after pleading guilty to raping the teenage girl. He was reportedly sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Seaton’s family and Strawn’s family were acquainted as they conducted business together. Seaton, however, began taking advantage of Strawn’s young daughter while she was under the influence of alcohol.
The presiding judge was totally unimpressed with the excuses Seaton offered for why he sexually abused the teen.
“The responses you gave — that you did not know what you did was wrong, it was [an] accident, no one was hurt, you didn’t plan it, you made a mistake, didn’t know how it happened and that the victim was overly affectionate — is hardly a glowing report," Judge Gregory Moeller reportedly said during the court proceedings. "It suggests you are completely unaccountable for your actions."
The judge also was disturbed by the fact that Seaton attempted to come off as noble for marrying the girl after impregnating her.
“Attempting to now present yourself as some kind of hero for trying to protect a pregnant teenager by marrying her yourself — I completely reject that as an explanation,” Moeller said. “This didn’t happen once; it happened multiple times, and you clearly groomed the victim.”
One might expect that a father whose daughter was groomed, coaxed, and taken advantage of by a grown man would have been enraged and reacted totally differently.
If he had caused harm to Seaton, he undoubtedly would have still landed himself in jail, but at least in that scenario you could argue he was protecting his daughter or defending her honor — but, instead, he just further contributed to the abuse.
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